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Immigrants to Democrats: 'Wake up! Do something!' Lindsey Graham to Obama: 'Time to step it up'

Immigrants rally in front of INS on Jan. 26, 2010

In 2008, those who care about immigrants voted for change, hoping to end the plight of an estimated 10 million illegal immigrants who live in the shadows. For nearly 18 months, Democrats put them off, insisting that other issues -- healthcare, financial regulatory reform, climate change -- trumped theirs.

Now immigrants and their advocates are stepping up pressure, planning a march on Washington for March 21 and lobbying lawmakers to take action.

"People are suffering. Millions and millions of people cannot drive, cannot go to school, live in fear," said Dae Joong Yoon, the executive director of the Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles. "In 2008, many of our community members voted for change. ... We've been waiting, waiting, waiting. But since then, our president, our Congress members have been in a deep sleep. So now we're saying, 'We can't take it anymore! Wake up! Do something!'"

And they aren't the only ones.

For the last six months, New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer and South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham have been trying to craft a bipartisan package that would make the....

...left happy by providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and appease the right by requiring a biometric national ID card for workers.

As he did in the early rounds of the healthcare debate, President Obama has kept his opinions to himself. He made brief mention of the issue in his State of the Union address -- "We should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system" -- but that's about it.

With the two senators set to meet with the president Thursday, Graham is calling on Obama to step up to the plate. "At the end of the day, the president needs to step it up a little bit," Graham told Politico. "One line in the State of the Union is not going to do it."

You may recall that the last time immigration reform came to the forefront of national debate, it sparked a tidal wave of anger, what in retrospect seems like the first wave of tea party activists. Whipped up by conservative radio talk-show hosts, Americans railing against amnesty for illegal immigrants overwhelmed Congress, sinking the effort.

Will Democrats show more muscle this time? Will they stand up to tea party anger? Will the president whose father was an immigrant honor his campaign promises?

Watch this space. After the fury dies down over healthcare, immigration could be the 800-pound gorilla in the 2010 elections.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: Demonstrators take part in a rally in front of the Department of Homeland Security in January. Credit: Reuters

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Have all Illegals go home. Very simple solution to our budget problems.

Let the civil war begin...

How dumb. Immigration reform in a time when budget deficits are exploding and many native born Americans are jobless? The only immigration reform should be completing the fence on our southern border, stepping up workplace "raids" and deporting illegal immigrants and arresting their employers, and denying, rather than expanding government paid benefits. No driver's licenses, no green cards, no amnesty, no path to citizenship. Deportation or self deportation through denied employment and public benefits is what is needed. Those deported can get back in line for LEGAL readmission after a five year ban for their offenses.

Illegal immigrants have a simple solution to the problems caused by their illegal behavior: go home.

Illegal immigrants are ILLEGAL. The only reason they have to be afraid of the law is because they put themselves in that position. They deserve no sympathy, nor any road that leads to citizenship. Ask most LEGAL immigrants and they'll tell you how much they despise illegals because of the bad name imposed upon them. Put up the wall, deport all illegals and let them start from scratch via legal means.

Just seeing the image at the top of this article disgusts me. They look like thugs. When I travel to another nation I behave in a humble and respectful manner. Illegal aliens don't have a right to demand anything from this nation. They are not immigrants.

My coworker came here legally from the Philippines. It has taken he and his wife years to navigate the process, but they became citizens this year. What do these criminals say to those who wait patiently and work through the process legally?

We need to decide if we want a sovereign nation. If not, then forget about borders, law and any enforcement. And ... by the way ... forget about having a nation at all. If we do want to maintain our nation, then we must put aside our human, individual empathy and work for the good of the nation and that would include enforcing immigration law, protecting the border and purging illegal aliens.

Is the system crap? Yes. Do we have any sort of worker program? No. Does it take an insane amount of time and money for those legal immigrants to process through the system? Yes. But those are all irrelevant to the issue of illegal aliens. We need to fix the system, but we need to cherish the sovereignty of our nation -- if that is what we truly want.

If you are here illegally and live in fear, my humanity empathizes, but my national allegiance says, "good, you should be in fear; you are a criminal!"

Hey Pres looking for Shovel-Ready Project?
How about we put high speed rail on the back burner and put our unemployed USA Citizens to work building a real Impregnable Barrier on our Southern Border. Once this is accomplished we can then "REPATRIATE" these illegals back to their Home Countires and then use job-created vacancies to put rest of our unemployed to work.

Interesting to hear how "many of our community members voted for change." Would that be the illegal immigants voting illegally? Or just their relatives? What community. These illegally entered people should go home. All 10 million of them. Making that happen is incredibly easy- simply force stringent checks, with HUGE, UNFATHOMABLE, GO OUT OF BUSINESS, fines on businesses for hiring illegals- and guess what they would stop in a flash. And with no jobs, illegals would go home, all on their own. California gets a huge outflow of immigrants whenever the econony tanks. Not because of the government, but because there are no jobs, so people go home.

Clearly, none of the so-call conservative Republican or the clearly ultra-liberal Democratic governments of late really care about ending illegal immigration. (The wall is OK for security, but the real solution is to punish businesses for hiring illegals.) EVERYONE knows this- so what is the hangup. Illegals go home. Illegals go home. Viva la Mexico (just appreciate its wonders from Mexico- thanks).

All I have to say is: you can always go home, no one is forcing you to stay.

again with this issue...let it go already...deport all illegals...send them back to were they came form...

Why?!!! Just because they came doesn't mean they are entitled. Sorry, America is even more hardened towards legalizing people who demand our services and our borders STILL are out of control. Absolutely not! Take heed politicians, the more you try to get the Latino vote, the more votes you will lose from Americans! What ever happened to honoring people who have respected our laws? What's wrong with that? We never hear about them... Punish them instead of deporting? Sorry, not enough, home you go...

Concern about illegal immigration in this country is a great deal more than a reaction "whipped up by conservative radio talk-show hosts". Perhaps your writer fails to understand that many Americans, including many Californians, have developed this concern merely by their own observation and experience.

Also, your statement that "those who care about immigrants voted for change, hoping to end the plight of an estimated 10 million illegal immigrants" conflates two separate issues: legal immigration, and illegal presence in this country. While both these areas of U.S. immigration policy need revision, what most concerns many Americans is the ease with which our legal borders are crossed by those entering illegally for whatever purpose and the failure of our elected officials to respond to these concerns with increased and effective border security.

"Illegal immigrants have a simple solution to the problems caused by their illegal behavior: go home."

I posted that message earlier, and guess what: I despise right wing talk show hosts; I've never voted for a Republican candidate in 4o years of voting; I married a legal immigrant of a different race and culture than mine; I strongly support legal immigration and believe legal immigrants are a source of renewal, energy, and cultural development; I support strong legal sanctions against those who employ illegal immigrants. Am I right wing or left wing on this issue?

I disagree with those who characterize those of us who oppose illegal immigration as racist or right wing or who try to define the issue as a conservative vs. liberal issue. But the media, including the Times, have a hard time with complexity and find it much easier to squeeze every issue into a "liberal vs. conservative" narrative.

Remember pelosi calling us un-American if we were against illegal aliens in our country?

Remember the promise America was given when we gave amnesty in 1986? No more illegals and better border security?

Estimated 10.8 million illegals...OK, let's play with that.

10.8 million gain status. They are then eligible to bring in their family members. One wife and one kid equals amother 21.6 million people. I'm sure many of them have more than one kid.

Approximately 60% of these people are estimated to be from Mexico. 60% of 10.8 million people is about 6 - 7 million people. These are people who have come here with no education and a questionable moral standing. That means we will allow 6 - 7 million people PLUS their families access to welfare, schools and our jobs.

That's just 60%.

“In summary, DHS estimates that the unauthorized immigrant population decreased to 10.8 million in January 2009 from 11.6 million in January 2008. Between 2000 and 2009, the unauthorized population grew by 27 percent. Of all unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in 2009, 63 percent entered before 2000, and 62 percent were from Mexico.”

How's your taxes, your job security, your child's educational opportunities, your neighborhood's quality? How's the service when you want to get something and you have to press one?

No reform.

Do not return your census. If they come to the door, tell them to not count illegals and shut the door. Let your local representatives know that since they did nothing about illegals, they won't have as much money for their pet projects this year. Hit them where it hurts, money, and the politicians will listen to you.

Illegal immigrant means illegal. Don't you get it. Illegal immigrants have been taken advantage of our system, draining our social and monetary resources. All illegal immigrants should return to their home contries, they should follow the legal procedures and processes to re-apply for legal status.

Americans have to give up our rights to privacy so the government will enforce the laws?

What about the SSI No-Match letters? Why doesn't the government try rooting out the illegals using the information they already have?

There's no way Americans are going to agree to biometric National ID Cards so 10-30 million illegal aliens can get Amnesty. The government doesn't want to enforce the immigration laws now- what makes anyone think that an ID card will keep millions of more illegals flooding over the border to take the jobs those who got amnesty refuse to do? It's all one vicious cycle.

Just Leave !

I certainly hope these people get their wish and the Democrats bring this to the front burner in time for our fall elections.

How do most Americans who legally vote feel about this? The far left want amnesty but it seems to me everybody else wants enforcement of our laws.

Too bad we don't have a national initiative system.

People, just look at the state of California. Giving welfare and free services to illegals have bankrupted this state. These people are committing a crime by sneaking into this country illegally and they should be jailed. Seal our borders and send these illegals back to wherever they came from. If not, in a few years there will be another 10 million demanding citizenship.

comments posted by "Tom" says it all so perfectly. Bravo! I totally agree. Send the illegals home and have them get in line to start the legal process.

Funny, how everyone wants illegals to go home. Even if you could send all illegals "home" how and who will make the work force as efficient as it is now, American citizens? I think not!
You forget that one is as efficient as these people. Are you going to make me quarter ponder with cheese? Are you going to make my bed at the Hilton? Grow my roses? Build my house?Any takers?
Not to mention all of the money that the government will be reaping out of these people who seek citizenship, how is that for helping the economy?
As far as the "offenses" that your talking about, what is so offensive? that they are able to flip burgers for an Obese American Nation, come on! Really!

No Amnesty, period!

If I, as an American, do something illegal in this country, I am expected to pay for my crime. RIGHT?? If I, as an American, want to continue teaching in America, I will have to learn SPANISH??? I think NOT! Yes, this is America! Yes, I had family come to this nation, LEGALLY!! They learned English. They learned the ways of this nation. That's all the American people are asking for. Illegals to go home and do it the right way! Why should they be put AHEAD of the people born and raised here. Those European countries the Elite wants us to be like tell visitors... You have exactly so long to stay or learn the language, culture and become a viable asset to our country or leave! Why aren't we looking at that example??? HMMMMM... b/c that only makes sense! Right vs Left, Black, blue, purple, white, yellow... it doesn't matter as long as you go through the right channels... You are welcome here. If not, GO HOME@

Sorry, the Republicans are not going to help you. We are all joining the Tea Party.

This is why we Democrats will be at the tea party when November comes.

All illegal immigrants want is a blanket amnesty to condone their illegal behavior. They want entitlement over conformance to immigration laws. They want chain migration over orderly, lawful immigration. A resounding, "NO!" to all of them. Ever since this country became a country, immigration has been conducted in a orderly, legal manner for the protection of those who live in this country. No one group has been favored over another. Now we have a group of illegal invaders trying to change our laws to favor their illegal behavior. What needs to happen is their removal from this country, so they can apply for entrance in a legal manner. No more illegal border crossing without penalty. Oh, and they should all be placed at the END of the line of applicants. No one should be able to bypass immigration laws and get away with it.

Immigrants to Democrats: 'Wake up! Do something!'
An American to Illegals: 'We will find you and you WILL be DEPORTED!!'

Lindsey Graham to Obama: 'Time to step it up'
An American to Lindsey Graham: 'Time for you to shut up AND go away!'

Vote out Graham in 2010 and Obama in 2012!!!!

I think the Dems have more to worry about than just the tea partyers. They need to worry about a voting Democrat like myself who will readily vote for anyone who votes for the American citizens and not foreign nationals who are here illegally.
By the way, what "plight"? Only in America can illegals stand up and DEMAND that their illegal actions be discounted.

"People are suffering. Millions and millions of people cannot drive, cannot go to school, live in fear,"

But why? WHY can't they drive? WHY can't they go to school? WHY do they live in fear?

Because they've broken our laws and don't want to pay the penalty for their offenses.

It's their choice to live like this. It's *always* been their choice. If they don't want to live in fear, if they *do* want to live free, decent lives...they can go home and do what tens of millions of other have done in the past; ask permission, wait your turn, and respect our decision.


Maria @ asks, "Are you going to make me quarter ponder with cheese? Are you going to make my bed at the Hilton? Grow my roses? Build my house?Any takers?"

yes. Our teenagers WILL make you a quarter pounder with cheese. Our low-skilled workers WILL make your bed at the Hilton and grow your roses. And yes...we have more jobless home-grown construction workers than you can shake a stick at. American's did these jobs BEFORE the illegals came to work for third-world wages.

she also asked "As far as the "offenses" that your talking about, what is so offensive?"

Trespassing, smuggling, human traffiking, identity theft, document forging, document fraud, credit fraud, labor fraud, banking fraud...among other things.

It's urgent to understand that fixing the broken immigration system is important both for the economy and for the security of this country. We need workable solutions that unite us together - and reform that respects due process and fairness allows us to celebrate the values that we hold dear - fairness, opportunity and due process. When we deny due process to some people, ultimately it will affect all of us. To take action go to

"Funny, how everyone wants illegals to go home. Even if you could send all illegals "home" how and who will make the work force as efficient as it is now, American citizens? I think not!
You forget that one is as efficient as these people. Are you going to make me quarter ponder with cheese? Are you going to make my bed at the Hilton? Grow my roses? Build my house?Any takers?
Not to mention all of the money that the government will be reaping out of these people who seek citizenship, how is that for helping the economy?
As far as the "offenses" that your talking about, what is so offensive? that they are able to flip burgers for an Obese American Nation, come on! Really!

Posted by: Maria | March 10, 2010 at 01:20 PM"

YOu can't even use the English language properly and you want us to listen to your rant?

My son is 14, he works in a restaurant where no illegals are allowed to work, because E-Verify is mandated in Arizona. He, also, mows lawns in the summer and other jobs YOUR lazy butt won't do.

Your argument about them doing jobs Americans won't do is lame and typical of illegal supporters who have no REAL argument to offer. And if this argument doesn't work, you'll cry that we're racist, next.

As long as so many AMERICANS are unemployed how dare congress try to help law breaking immigrants before making sure we are taken care of.... RIDICULOUS.

E-Verify is like a revolving door, that has comes into existence by law. But if it works too good like any good enforcement tool, less honorable politicians will try to rescind it. Using all their influence at their disposal Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, Speaker Pelosi nearly managed to get it tabled before it left the Senate. Infuriated by this, these lawmakers instituted another method to try and pry it from enforcement purposes. My guess is Janet Napolitano, who has never been good at accepting enforcement of immigration law, from the time she was Governor of Arizona. Came to the Democratic parties aid and used what she hired a non-biased company to research the success rate of E-Verify. But being supposedly non biased doesn't necessary mean your not politically influenced by serious donations or grants from a government agency or a outside commercial entities.

Every non-prejudiced think tank, foundation or other so called non-profit is somehow swayed by an injection of money or other reward. E-Verify is subject to the same rules of every other piece of software, that it is only as good as the injection of government data-bases. Errors are bound to happen and that it already has a very successful rate of pinpointing illegal workers, It cannot be scrapped just because a lot of fraudulent ID carrying workers sneak through the applications barriers. In months to come more tools will improve its performance, that will halt illegal immigrants taking American jobs. We must remember Sen. Schumer has a poor record on immigration enforcement, that why himself and his friendly obstructionists are trying to distract us, with yet another innovation. It's a big ruse, as its always been. The 1986 the legislators promised the American people, that there would never be another AMNESTY

At least that's what the late Ted Kennedy proclaimed? But we all know the government or its public servants, never tell the truth. So here we go again, pushing for another AMNESTY of even more mind numbing proportions. Outside of the fact that millions more will try to gain entrance to America's doors, before any kind of AMNESTY takes effect? Where are they going to get the money for processing? The millions that are here? The millions that will keep on coming? The Criminals will stay in the shadows, those who are deportable will not be processed. Whatever new enforcement is enacted, it is never going to work. Because its--NEVER--meant to work--or even enforced? The fence was never meant to be a real deterrent. ITS ALL ONE MONOLITHIC LIE. .That's what's happened to our country? The liberal, far-left socialist in the Democratic party has seen to that. Its even scary to think of the--BILLIONS--of dollars will be pried by the IRS, to support those already here and the millions who will definately come.


Those illegal workers who think they have got past the E-Verify barriers, who think they have sneaked through. Better think again. ICE will return at certain intervals and recheck I-9s and audit those very companies again. E-Verify will be eventually a permanent tool, fully funded or the majority of the American people will want to know why? JUST DO NOT LET UP AT CAUSING YOUR POLITICIANS HEARTBURN AT 202-224-3121.
Don't forget to give a livid mouthful to your lawmakers in each state.

Hi All,

America is a country of immigrants. People who came here have always been very hard working and determined to make a great name for this country and for themselves and surely thenceforth this country has become the greatest on earth. All people who came here made great sacrifices and worked harder than even the citizens and under very difficult circumstances and thus contributed even greater than the citizens for a better future for America and for themselves. No wonder this country has thence become the best in the world. To discourage immigrants, who are competing in a global economy and thus contributing even more than the citizens is thus detrimental to the continued greatness and prosperity of our country..

Henceforth recent studies conducted by experts and universities continue to show that legalizing the immigrants, who are not criminals or drug traffickers is in the best interest of our country's economy and prosperity. A recent study conducted by Dr. Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda for the Immigration Policy Center and the Center for American Progress, estimates that immigration reform would add at least $1.5 trillion in cumulative Gross Domestic Product to the U.S. economy over 10 years. Over the first three years alone, the higher personal incomes of new and newly legalized immigrant workers would generate enough consumer spending to support 750,000 to 900,000 jobs in the United States, as well as increased tax revenues of $4.5 billion to $5.4 billion

I thus think that passing of the comprehensive immigration reform immediately is in the best interest of Americans and our country. It will only continue to keep our country prosperous and great.

By the way I may also add that despite the current down economy, analysts point out that previous legislation in the 1980s was also passed in the midst of hard times. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 led to the legalization of 2.7 million “illegal” workers, but did not lead to greater unemployment. Wages also rose 15-20% in the following two decades, the study found. Data also suggests that a policy of mass deportation of migrants in the 1930s worsened the economic crisis.
It is thus plain commonsense that Comprehensive Immigration Reform be passed immediately to help continue to keep our country great and prosperous or else we could well start losing our greatness and prosperity in this Global Economy. It will also save the sufferings of many who are contributing greatly to our country's progress.
It appears like many have opined that President Obama needs to lead on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform, that he is now trying to lead and I think the bigger and greater the rally in Washington DC on March 21 the better it will be to impress upon all concerned to move the comprehensive immigration reform very quickly and only then it has chance of passing this year and if not who knows when if ever. As someone mentioned it can even be passed as a part of the Jobs Bill


The flurry of falsehoods perpetrated on this thread is probably the best argument for a speedy Immigration Reform Bill. I've waded through these comments in hopes of seeing one pragmatic alternative to Immigration Reform. Those against it have had years to come up with workable solutions and as evidenced by the comments here, they have none. They can't even get the facts straight. I believe that they will never come up with anything that works. So why delay any further? It's time for Immigration Reform.!

Those who hate illegal immigrants should remember that once upon a time, they and their ancestors were illegal immigrants themselves and the only real nonimmigrant is the american indian. Give everybody a chance in this country.

I hate that all of you people out there are telling the illegals to go home. I am a freaking U.S. Marine and was also a illegal, but I am here fighting for your freedom. I mean dont get me wrong take out the ones that smuggle drugs and do break the law and let the ones that want to go to school and better themselves stay in the U.S.

It is so hard to believe that this nation is made up of immature, insensitive and cold-hearted adults.

I am a 19 year old student who's trying to pave a way through this life that will, hopefully, provide me with a successful future. I come from immigrant parents who believed in themselves, gave their lives up for a better future, became citizens and raised me to become a young man who can appreciate the struggle life is...

Unlike many of you, I CAN appreciate all people who come illegally into a country in hopes of a better life, going against all odds and all others who oppose everything they are and do.

I hope to one day become someone all will be proud to know...because then, I will prove to all of you unappreciative people that you don't have to be "rightfully-American"...which you almost refer to as the right type of human to be here and be considered American.

YOUR dehumanization is implied with your comments of indifference. Isn't it sad to be thought of as an immature adult by a 19 year old?


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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